Welcome to the Dollhouse

Property Watch: A Leschi Victorian with a Pearl Jam Connection

A turreted mansion for sale near Frink Park balances old-timey charm with livability.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd January 6, 2021

There are few homes as dreamy as a classic, dollhouse Victorian, like this three-story beauty at 2904 S Washington Street in Leschi. It’s had some updates in the last 120 years, but its intricate details are remarkably well-kept; its three original fireplaces in the living room, dining room, and office are all still fully functional and wood-burning. Exposed-grain millwork, including elaborate mantels and ornamented cased openings, retain a rich tone.

It’s charming from the jump, with a wraparound porch that’s begging for a swing. Under a prominent gable, the front door includes its original, ornately-carved knob and hinges, with designs that are still crisp and bright.

The home is as posh now—listed for $1.89 million—as it was when it was built in 1900 for high-society Seattleite S.J. Holmes, a prominent physician and former Seattle Board of Health president. You may recognize the name from the S.J. Holmes building downtown, which he commissioned as an investment from his son, an architect. (Now it’s home to Deja Vu Showgirls.) In 1998, the house briefly found another famous owner in David Abbruzzese, Pearl Jam’s drummer from 1991 to 1994.

Image: Kathy Oman

Opulent Victorians like this are never short on space. Typical of the era, cascading formal spaces make up the first floor. Updates on the large eat-in kitchen include modern conveniences like a dishwasher and disposal, but they’re not showy: minimalist stainless steel appliances, farmhouse sink, no knocked-out walls. Two and a quarter baths include one with a period clawfoot tub.

Five original bedrooms include little parlor nooks and plentiful closets, and one even has its own balcony with a quaint railing that appears to be original. Even at the time, it was more than enough space for the Holmes family: A Seattle Times classified ad from 1909 advertises a fully-furnished room for rent with a view of the lake. The panorama to the east is still hard to beat, with a clear vista of the lake all the way to downtown Bellevue.

Image: Kathy Oman

A remodel in the early 2010s finished the attic to add a full guest suite. You can see this on the outside if you’re looking closely—a row of just-too-modern windows—but the design, for the most part, deferred to the Victorian bones. Up here, a sixth bedroom nestles inside a vaulted ceiling under the turret’s peak. An adjoining sitting area wraps around the chimney’s exposed brick, with a row of skylights angled along the roofline.

It’s a lot of home, inside and out. The house sits on a flat corner lot that’s nearly a quarter of an acre, which is mostly lawn right now but could house raised beds or fruit trees. For a change of scene, heavily-wooded Frink Park, complete with trails down to the lake, is less than two blocks away.  

Image: Kathy Oman

Listing Fast Facts

2904 S Washington St
Size: 3,724 square feet on 0.23 acres, 6 bedroom/2.5 bath
List Date:
List Price: $1,890,000
Listing Agent: Ken Graff, Coldwell Banker Bain

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